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Intel touts benefits of 2.8GHz P4

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Intel yesterday, as expected, debuted a 2.8GHz version of its Pentium 4 processor and three other lower speed chips.

The introduction of Intel's highest speed processors to date comes as its marketing battle with AMD steps up a gear with the debut of AMD's Athlon XP 2600+ last week.

Intel's latest processors are: a 2.8GHz Pentium 4 with 533 MHz system bus, costing $508 per unit in batches of 1,000; a 2.66Ghz part (with 533MHz FSB) at $401; a 2.60GHz chip (with 400MHz FSB) again at $401 and a 2.5GHz Pentium 4 (with 400MHz FSB) at $243. All the processors are manufactured using Intel's 0.13-micron process.

As usual the big question remains why does the world need such high-speed desktop processors?

Intel's answer this time around refers not to gaming, but the benefits higher performance PCs bring in encoding digital media (such as music, pictures, and movies) and for collaborative applications in business.

A computer based on the Pentium 4 processor operating at 2.8 GHz can convert more than five one-hour videotapes to MPEG-4 digital video in the same time a 500 MHz PC can convert a one-hour videotape, it says. But is this the sort of thing users will actually do at home?

Compared to a 500 MHz PC, consumers can edit photos more than four times faster with a PC based on the Pentium 4 processor 2.8 GHz, Intel reckons.

For businesses, Pentium 4 processor-based 2.8 GHz PCs provide almost four times faster performance than the installed base of PCs for XML-based Web services. Intel even postulates, heroically, that upgrading a firm's installed base of PCs to Pentium 4 boxes running Windows XP can save firms money on "capital costs, labour costs and help-desk calls".

Which is nice. ®

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